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Interview: A Future for Avondale

Interview: A Future for Avondale

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Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. The yard historically built amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. Owners are now exploring using the yard for manufacturing oil and gas infrastructure. Google Photo Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. The yard historically built amphibious ships for the U.S. Navy. Owners are now exploring using the yard for manufacturing oil and gas infrastructure. Google Photo

Avondale Shipyards, in continuous operation since 1938, is best known in recent years for constructing Navy amphibious ships, including the Whidbey Island (LSD-41) class and the San Antonio (LPD-17) class. The yard was one of three spun off by Northrop Grumman to form Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) in 2011. The company announced it would close the yard in 2013 at the completion of the last LPD scheduled there. At its height the yard employed 6,000; currently there are about 2,200 workers.In December, however, CEO Mike Petters announced HII was exploring use of the yard for the construction of oil and liquified natural gas (LNG) infrastructure around the Gulf Coast.
USNI News spoke with Christopher D. Kastner, HII’s corporate vice president and general manager–corporate development, about the future of the yard, its workforce, and what it means for the U.S. Navy.
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